Colombia: 'No' vote a missed opportunity for peace

The rejection of the peace agreement in today’s plebiscite in Colombia is a missed opportunity for the country to finally move away from its tragic 50-year-long war, said Amnesty International.

“Today will go down in history as the day Colombia turned its back to what could have been an end to a 50-year long conflict that devastated millions of lives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Today will go down in history as the day Colombia turned its back to what could have been an end to a 50-year long conflict that devastated millions of lives.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International


“Although imperfect, the agreement represented a concrete way forward for peace and justice. The uncertainly this vote brings could place millions of Colombians, particularly those from vulnerable groups such as Indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant farmer communities at greater risk of suffering human rights violations.”

“It’s imperative that Colombia does not walk away from this project and that the country continues to move towards the long awaited peace millions are longing for.”

Human rights in Colombia in 10 numbers

7.9 million – victims of the armed conflict, almost half of them are women. (Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, UARIV, September 2016)

6.9 million – victims of forced displacement. (UARIV)

267,000 – conflict-related killings, mostly of civilians. (UARIV)

4,392 – victims of possible extrajudicial executions recorded by the Office of the Attorney General (Office in Colombia of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, March 2016).

46,386 - victims of enforced disappearance (UARIV).

29,622 - kidnappings (UARIV).

11,062 - victims of anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance (UARIV)

8,022 – child soldiers used by paramilitaries and guerrilla groups. (UARIV)

63 - human rights defenders, including Indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant farmer leaders, killed in 2015. Fifty-two in the first nine months of 2016. (We Are Defenders Programme).

20 – trade union members killed in 2015 (The National Trade Union School (Escuela Nacional Sindical)